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So THAT'S your plan?


2 Samuel 13:20 (Paraphrased) says..."So Tamar remained DESOLATE..."


The word desolate means a place deserted of people, in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness, depressingly empty or bare.


Recently, I had a conversation with a girlfriend who'd shared with me that she'd gone through yet another break up. Her relationship ended with her partner walking away. As I listened, I could hear the pain in her voice. Even the moments of silence felt weighted by the grief of yet another failed relationship.


She concluded that portion of our conversation by informing me that she was planning to stay angry and be bitter for the next 12 months! Eyebrows arched and a Scooby- Doo, "HUH???" I said, "Really?? That's your plan??"


I thought about what my friend had gone through and remembered my own past relationship woes, not just intimate relationships but friendships that waned and times when I'd missed the mark and failed to accomplish a desired goal whether it be business or other. As much as I wanted to empathize with my friend, I found myself wondering, "How does one consciously decide and plan, no less, to stay in a state of bleakness...a depressing and empty place? How do you plan a trip to a place called Desolation? How do you pack? What do you bring? Who do you take with you? She'd already determined the when but I wonder if she considered the rest?


See for me, failure is a perspective. It's a word that has no place in a Believer's vocabulary! If you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior (I know, I know...I can hear some of you now--"She always has to bring Jesus into stuff!") and your life is truly hidden in His; what is failure? It's none existent! Why? Because there is no failure in God! He cannot fail! So yeah...you may say...well why do I fail? My answer to you would simply be, "You don't"! You have feedback based on actions, decisions and choices that you've made"


As I continued to observe my girlfriend as she began her journey through this place called Desolation, I was able to see how she planned her "trip". She determined in her heart and convinced her mind that she would, in fact, take this journey. How did she pack and what in the world do you bring on a journey to Desolation? Well, I noticed a harshness in her communication, bitterness and anger. She'd packed those things in her heart and what was packed in her heart came out of her mouth as though she was unpacking this enormous and endless trunk. Unbeknownst to her but obvious to others, she'd show up (physically) to her usual places, operating in various capacities, "helping" others, "training" others, "mentoring" and "guiding" others all while highly contagious with this dis-ease called Desolation! I remember my former pastor, Bishop Winans and actually my new pastor, Pastor Regi saying often, "Hurt people hurt people". So true, as I saw the trail of "breadcrumbs" she'd dropped like the Hansel and Gretel fairytale offending one person after another and ultimately always leading back to her.


Twelve months is the time she purposed and planned to operate, function and reside in this place called Desolation. Have you ever been there? Missing the mark, business not performing the way you envisioned, relationships falling apart? Have you been hurt, betrayed, violated? Are YOU planning a trip to a place called Desolation? I certainly hope not! We know that a just man falls 7 times and rises up again! We know that even if you fall...on your own or someone pushed you down...you will not be utterly cast down! Get up!! Wipe the dust of Desolation off of your feet! What did you learn? How did you contribute? Were there nuggets you can glean from the experience? It's all feedback! When you rise up again and change your perspective, you also change your vantage point!


I wonder the outcome if my girlfriend would have cried for a moment...'cause you know joy comes in the morning and instead of planning a trip to a place called Desolation, if she'd instead, planned and purposed to renew her mind? I wonder if she was just as deliberate about healing her mind and her emotions as she was about being bitter and angry for the next twelve months, what her world would look like on day 3